slavery

Statue of John C. Calhoun is lifted from its more than 100 foot tall base at Marion Square on June 24, 2020.
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

It’s been nearly impossible to see the face of John C. Calhoun perched atop a more than 100- foot pedestal over the Charleston city skyline for 124 years, but now the likeness of the South Carolina statesman is gone.

It took time to take down.

Calhoun was a former State Senator and Vice President of the United States. But he was also a well-known advocate of racist policies, especially slavery.

The Debate

His stature in one of the city’s most prominent parks, Marion Square, has been debated for years.

The first black U.S. senator and first black House members were elected by Southern states during Reconstruction.
Library of Congress

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has said, "Reconstruction is one of the most important and consequential chapters in American history. It is also among the most overlooked, misunderstood and misrepresented." Gates' new four-part television series for PBS, Reconstruction: America after the Civil War begins it run on April 9 on SCETV.

Former Mayor Joe Riley celebrates the announcement the money needed to build the International African American Museum has been raised
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

The Charleston Maritime Museum was packed Thursday with a who’s who of community leaders, as well as local and state dignitaries.  Former, long time Charleston City Mayor Joe Riley could barely contain his excitement as he stepped up to the podium. 

“Today we’ve asked all of you to join us to tell you that the dream of the International African American Museum shared by so many will be a reality,” he said.  “We have met our $75 million fundraising goal.”

Dr. Lacy Ford
University of South Carolina

(Originally broadcast 02/24/17) - Join us for the third public conversation in a four-part series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828. Dr. Lacy Ford, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences University of South Carolina, and author of Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860 and Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South, will discuss the ideology and public policy of slavery in the American republic.

(Originally broadcast 02/17/17) - For the second lecture in this four-part series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828. Dr. Larry Watson discusses slavery in South Carolina. Professor Watson is Associate Professor of History & Adjunct Professor of History South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina. He is author of numerous articles on African American life in the American South.

Dr. J. Brent Morris
USC Beaufort

Yes, Lord, I Know the Road: A Documentary History of African Americans in South Carolina, 1526 – 2008 (2017, USC Press) is the first comprehensive history of African Americans in the Palmetto State. From the first North American slave rebellion near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in the early sixteenth century to the 2008 state Democratic primary victory of Barack Obama, Dr. J.

Dr. Lacy Ford
University of South Carolina

Join us for the third public conversation in a four-part series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828. Dr. Lacy Ford, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences University of South Carolina and author of Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860 and Deliver Us from Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South, will discuss the ideology and public policy of slavery in the American republic.

For the second lecture in this four-part series of Conversations on South Carolina: The State and the New Nation, 1783-1828, Dr. Larry Watson discusses slavery in South Carolina. Professor Watson is Associate Professor of History & Adjunct Professor of History South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina. He is author of numerous articles on African American life in the American South.

This series of public conversations is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Southern Studies Institute at the University of South Carolina.

Robert Smalls
Mathew Brady via Wikimedia Commons

  This edition of South Carolina Focus looks at Robert Smalls, who, despite his name, was a large figure in black history in South Carolina. Born a slave in Beaufort, Smalls became a hero during the Civil War (to the Union) when he stole a Confederate ship and steamed his family and those of other slaves to freedom. Two historians tell us that after the war he returned to South Carolina where he was elected to the state legislature, and later to the United States Senate. Throughout his legislative career, Smalls had a hand in laws that improved education, advanced women’s rights and secured Parris Island as a military base, which it remains today.